The Reading / Listening - Letters to Santa - Level 6

An unlikely source has revealed the pandemic fears of thousands of children across the world - Santa's mailbag. A post office in France that answers mail it receives for Santa has described the concerns children have been expressing about COVID-19. The letters contain the usual requests for Christmas gifts, but many have emotional outpourings that provide an insight into how the coronavirus pandemic is troubling young minds. The post office has been responding to "Dear Santa" letters since 1962. A writer who replies to the notes said: "This year, we really feel their fears - for themselves, their grandparents or their parents. It's what really emerges from their letters. And in every country."



The post office has been inundated with around 12,000 letters per day. It has a team of 60 letter-writing "elves". They say that many children are confiding in Santa and expressing heartfelt fears that perhaps parents are in the dark about. One child wrote: "This year, more than the others, I need magic and to believe in you." Another child slipped a mask inside her envelope for Santa to not spread the virus. A "chief elf" explained the emotional toll on children. She said: "The letters to Santa are a sort of release for them. All this year they have been in lockdowns and have been deprived of school and their grandpas and grandmas....Children are putting into words everything they have felt during this period."

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Letters to Santa - Level 4  or  Letters to Santa - Level 5

Sources
  • https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/world/emotional-toll-wrought-pandemic-jumping-off-pages-in-deluge-dear-santa-letters-v1
  • https://apnews.com/article/pandemics-postal-service-france-coronavirus-pandemic-b6ca8343c7f67aaa4ed9de0915378ddd
  • https://kstp.com/minnesota-news/santas-mailbag-a-look-into-pandemic-worries-children-/5935841/


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



Warm-ups

1. SANTA: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about Santa. Change partners often and share your findings.
2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, talk about these topics or words from the article. What will the article say about them? What can you say about these words and your life?
       source / pandemic / fears / Santa / mailbag / emotional / outpouring / young minds /
       post office / elf / in the dark / magic / envelope / release / lockdown / grandparents
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. COUNSELLING: Students A strongly believe governments should give children free pandemic counselling; Students B strongly believe otherwise. Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. PANDEMIC: How has the pandemic changed people's lives? How can we make this more COVID-secure? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

How It Has Changed Lives

COVID-Secure Measures

Travel

 

 

Work

 

 

Shopping

 

 

Loved ones

 

 

Study

 

 

Commuting

 

 

MY e-BOOK
ESL resource book with copiable worksheets and handouts - 1,000 Ideas and Activities for Language Teachers / English teachers
See a sample

5. SANTA: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "Santa". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.
6. XMAS GIFTS: Rank these with your partner. Put the best at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • English book
  • Shirt
  • Masks
  • Smartphone cover
  • iTunes voucher
  • Flowers
  • Chocolates
  • McDonald's voucher

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. source a. An outburst of strong emotion.
      2. revealed b. Becomes apparent, important, or prominent.
      3. expressing c. A place, person, or thing from which something comes or can be obtained.
      4. outpourings d. Said what one thinks or means.
      5. insight e. Made previously unknown or secret information known to others.
      6. responding f. The ability / capacity to get an accurate and deep understanding of a person or thing.
      7. emerges g. Acting or behaving in reaction to someone or something.

    Paragraph 2

      8. inundated h. Telling someone about a secret or private matter while trusting them not to repeat it to others.
      9. confiding i. A state of ignorance (not knowing about) about something.
      10. in the dark j. The action or process of being free from something.
      11. slipped k. Overwhelmed someone with things or people to be dealt with; flood.
      12. toll l. Suffering a lack of a specified benefit that is considered important.
      13. release m. The cost or damage resulting from something.
      14. deprived n. Put something in a particular place or position, usually quietly.

 

Before reading / listening

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if 1-8 below are true (T) or false (F).

  1. A post office in France revealed secrets of children's letters to Santa.     T / F
  2. None of the letters to Santa contained requests for presents this year.     T / F
  3. The letters revealed insights into the troubled minds of children.     T / F
  4. The post office has been replying to letters to Santa since 1962.     T / F
  5. The post office gets as many as 12,000 letters per week for Santa.     T / F
  6. Many parents are unaware of their children's fears.     T / F
  7. A child sent a mask to Santa to help him stop the virus from spreading.   T / F
  8. The article says children have been deprived of counselling.     T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

  1. unlikely
  2. fears
  3. expressing
  4. insight into
  5. emerges
  6. inundated
  7. confiding in
  8. toll
  9. release
  10. deprived
  1. harm
  2. appreciation of
  3. denied
  4. flooded
  5. conveying
  6. opening one's heart
  7. improbable
  8. liberation
  9. becomes apparent
  10. anxieties

3. PHRASE MATCH: (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

  1. An unlikely source has revealed
  2. concerns children have been expressing
  3. provide an insight
  4. This year, we really feel their
  5. It's what really emerges
  6. The post office has been inundated
  7. many children are confiding
  8. parents are in
  9. the emotional toll
  10. putting into words everything
  1. with around 12,000 letters
  2. on children
  3. from their letters
  4. about COVID-19
  5. the dark
  6. in Santa
  7. the pandemic fears
  8. into how
  9. they have felt
  10. fears

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
usual
replies
revealed
emerges
expressing
insight
mailbag
minds

An unlikely source has (1) _____________________ the pandemic fears of thousands of children across the world - Santa's (2) _____________________. A post office in France that answers mail it receives for Santa has described the concerns children have been (3) _____________________ about COVID-19. The letters contain the (4) _____________________ requests for Christmas gifts, but many have emotional outpourings that provide an (5) _____________________ into how the coronavirus pandemic is troubling young (6) _____________________. The post office has been responding to "Dear Santa" letters since 1962. A writer who (7) _____________________ to the notes said: "This year, we really feel their fears - for themselves, their grandparents or their parents. It's what really (8) _____________________ from their letters. And in every country."

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
envelope
deprived
dark
inundated
period
magic
confiding
toll

The post office has been (9) _____________________ with around 12,000 letters per day. It has a team of 60 letter-writing "elves". They say that many children are (10) _____________________ in Santa and expressing heartfelt fears that perhaps parents are in the (11) _____________________ about. One child wrote: "This year, more than the others, I need (12) _____________________ and to believe in you." Another child slipped a mask inside her (13) _____________________ for Santa to not spread the virus. A "chief elf" explained the emotional (14) _____________________ on children. She said: "The letters to Santa are a sort of release for them. All this year they have been in lockdowns and have been (15) _____________________ of school and their grandpas and grandmas....Children are putting into words everything they have felt during this (16) _____________________."

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  revealed the pandemic fears of thousands of children across the world - ______
     a.  Santa's mailing pack
     b.  Santa's mail pack
     c.  Santa's male bag
     d.  Santa's mailbag
2)  mail it receives for Santa has described the concerns children ______
     a.  have been expressive
     b.  have been expressing
     c.  have been expression
     d.  have been express in
3)  but many have emotional outpourings that provide an ______
     a.  insight into how
     b.  in site into how
     c.  incite into how
     d.  incites into how
4)  the coronavirus pandemic is troubling ______
     a.  young mines
     b.  young minds
     c.  young minders
     d.  young mends
5)  A writer who replies to the notes said: "This year, we really ______
     a.  feel them fears
     b.  feel their fears
     c.  feels their fears
     d.  feel them fears

6)  The post office has been inundated with around 12,000 ______
     a.  letters per day
     b.  letters pre day
     c.  letters pair day
     d.  letters pare day
7)  They say that many children are ______
     a.  confidence in Santa
     b.  confide in Santa
     c.  confides in Santa
     d.  confiding in Santa
8)  One child wrote: "This year, more than the others, ______
     a.  I need magical
     b.  I need magic
     c.  I need magician
     d.  I need magically
9)  She said: "The letters to Santa are a sort of ______
     a.  release four them
     b.  release for them
     c.  release for then
     d.  released for them
10)  All this year they have been in lockdowns and have been ______
     a.  depraved of school
     b.  deprived of school
     c.  deep raved of school
     d.  deep riven of school

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

An unlikely source has revealed the (1) ____________________ thousands of children across the world - Santa's mailbag. A post office in France that answers mail it receives for Santa has (2) ____________________ children have been expressing about COVID-19. The letters contain the usual requests for Christmas gifts, but many have (3) ____________________ provide (4) ____________________ how the coronavirus pandemic is troubling young minds. The post office has (5) ____________________ "Dear Santa" letters since 1962. A writer who replies to the notes said: "This year, we really feel their fears - for themselves, their grandparents or their parents. It's what really (6) ____________________ letters. And in every country."

The post office (7) ____________________ with around 12,000 letters per day. It has a team of 60 letter-writing "elves". They say that many children are confiding in Santa and expressing (8) ____________________ perhaps parents are in the dark about. One child wrote: "This year, more than the others, (9) ____________________ and to believe in you." Another child slipped a mask inside her envelope for Santa to not spread the virus. A "chief elf" explained the (10) ____________________ children. She said: "The letters to Santa are a (11) ____________________ for them. All this year they have been in lockdowns and have (12) ____________________ school and their grandpas and grandmas....Children are putting into words everything they have felt during this period."

Comprehension questions

  1. What is the unlikely source of understanding children's COVID fears?
  2. Where is the post office that is replying to letters to Santa?
  3. What are children requesting as usual in their letters?
  4. When did the post office start replying to letters to Santa?
  5. What did a post office letter writer say she feels this year?
  6. How many letters a day has the post office been receiving?
  7. How many "elves" are on the letter-writing team?
  8. What did a child write to say he or she needed?
  9. What did a child put inside an envelope for Santa to use?
  10. Who did the post office say children have been deprived of?




Multiple choice quiz

1)  What is the unlikely source of understanding children's COVID fears?
a) the Internet
b) Santa's mailbag
c) a schoolteacher
d) a newspaper
2) Where is the post office that is replying to letters to Santa?
a) Lapland
b) Finland
c) the USA
d) France
3) What are children requesting as usual in their letters?
a) chocolates
b) a vaccine
c) Christmas gifts
d) advice
4) When did the post office start replying to letters to Santa?
a) 1962
b) 1972
c) 1952
d) 1982
5) What did a post office letter writer say she feels this year?
a) sad
b) children's fears
c) cold
d) pessimistic about the future

6) How many letters a day has the post office been receiving?
a) about 12,000
b) over 12,000
c) just fewer than
d) exactly
7) How many "elves" are on the letter-writing team?
a) 50
b) 70
c) 60
d) 80
8) What did a child write to say he or she needed?
a) magic
b) masks
c) food
d) love
9) What did a child put inside an envelope for Santa to use?
a) a cookie
b) a carrot
c) money
d) a mask
10) Who did the post office say children have been deprived of?
a) Santa
b) doctors
c) grandmas and grandpas
d) teachers

Role play

Role  A – English Book
You think an English book is the best Xmas gift. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their gifts. Also, tell the others which is the least desirable of these (and why): shirt, masks or iTunes voucher.

Role  B – Shirt
You think a shirt is the best Xmas gift. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their gifts. Also, tell the others which is the least desirable of these (and why): English book, masks or iTunes voucher.

Role  C – Masks
You think masks are the best Xmas gift. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their gifts. Also, tell the others which is the least desirable of these (and why): shirt, English book or iTunes voucher.

Role  D – iTunes Voucher
You think an iTunes voucher is the best Xmas gift. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their gifts. Also, tell the others which is the least desirable of these (and why): shirt, masks or English book.

After reading / listening

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words...

'children'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'fear'.

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • • Share your findings with your partners.

    • Make questions using the words you found.

    • Ask your partner / group your questions.

    2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

    •Share your questions with other classmates / groups. •Ask your partner / group your questions.

    3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

    4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

    5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

    • thousands
    • France
    • insight
    • writer
    • notes
    • country
    • 12,000
    • heartfelt
    • magic
    • mask
    • release
    • period




    Student survey

    Write five GOOD questions about this topic in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper. When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

    (Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

    Discussion - Letters to Santa

    STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

    1. What did you think when you read the headline?
    2. What images are in your mind when you hear the word 'pandemic'?
    3. What do you think of the coronavirus pandemic?
    4. How should we tell children about coronavirus?
    5. What do you think of the "Dear Santa" mail service?
    6. What would you ask Santa this year?
    7. What do you imagine children are worried about?
    8. What worried you as a child?
    9. How might coronavirus change children's future?
    10. What would you write to a worried child?

    STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

    1. Did you like reading this article? Why/not?
    2. What do you think of when you hear the word 'fear'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. How worried are you about the pandemic?
    5. How can we stop children worrying about coronavirus?
    6. Would you write down your heartfelt fears?
    7. What magic would you like to create in the world?
    8. What emotional toll has the virus taken on you?
    9. Where do you think we will be this time next year?
    10. What questions would you like to ask the children?

    Discussion — Write your own questions

    STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

    (a) ________________

    (b) ________________

    (c) ________________

    (d) ________________

    (e) ________________

    STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

    (f) ________________

    (g) ________________

    (h) ________________

    (i) ________________

    (j) ________________





    Language — Cloze (Gap-fill)

    An (1) ____ source has revealed the pandemic fears of thousands of children across the world - Santa's mailbag. A post office in France that answers mail it receives for Santa has described the (2) ____ children have been expressing about COVID-19. The letters contain the usual requests for Christmas gifts, but many have emotional outpourings that provide an (3) ____ into how the coronavirus pandemic is (4) ____ young minds. The post office has been (5) ____ to "Dear Santa" letters since 1962. A writer who replies to the notes said: "This year, we really feel their fears - for themselves, their grandparents or their parents. It's what really (6) ____ from their letters. And in every country."

    The post office has been (7) ____ with around 12,000 letters per day. It has a team of 60 letter-writing "elves". They say that many children are confiding (8) ____ Santa and expressing heartfelt fears that perhaps parents are in the (9) ____ about. One child wrote: "This year, more than the others, I need magic and to believe in you." Another child (10) ____ a mask inside her envelope for Santa to not spread the virus. A "chief elf" explained the emotional toll (11) ____ children. She said: "The letters to Santa are a sort of release for them. All this year they have been in lockdowns and have been (12) ____ of school and their grandpas and grandmas....Children are putting into words everything they have felt during this period."

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     unlikely     (b)     unlikable     (c)     unliked     (d)     likelihood    
    2. (a)     corners     (b)     concerts     (c)     concerns     (d)     concertinas    
    3. (a)     sighting     (b)     sights     (c)     insight     (d)     out of sight    
    4. (a)     troubadour     (b)     troubles     (c)     troubled     (d)     troubling    
    5. (a)     despondent     (b)     dependent     (c)     resounding     (d)     responding    
    6. (a)     emergencies     (b)     emerges     (c)     emigrates     (d)     emigrants    
    7. (a)     inculcated     (b)     inundated     (c)     infatuated     (d)     integrated    
    8. (a)     on     (b)     in     (c)     of     (d)     at    
    9. (a)     dusk     (b)     dawn     (c)     dark     (d)     black    
    10. (a)     tripped     (b)     stumbled     (c)     fell     (d)     slipped    
    11. (a)     of     (b)     at     (c)     in     (d)     on    
    12. (a)     decadent     (b)     deranged     (c)     depraved     (d)     deprived

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. evraeeld the pandemic fears
    2. icderbsed the concerns
    3. the usual esteurqs for Christmas gifts
    4. emotional ugrtopousni
    5. provide an tnihsig
    6. It's what really egmeres

    Paragraph 2

    1. The post office has been tuidnnade
    2. children are nfdionicg in Santa
    3. slipped a mask inside her nvepeloe
    4. they have been in kdcnlowso
    5. been eddevipr of school
    6. uirgdn this period

    Put the text back together

    (...)  mask inside her envelope for Santa to not spread the virus. A "chief elf" explained the emotional
    (...)  mailbag. A post office in France that answers mail it receives for Santa has described the concerns
    (...)  year they have been in lockdowns and have been deprived of school and their grandpas
    (...)  replies to the notes said: "This year, we really feel their fears - for themselves, their grandparents
    (...)  or their parents. It's what really emerges from their letters. And in every country."
    (...)  children have been expressing about COVID-19. The letters contain the usual requests for Christmas
    (...)  minds. The post office has been responding to "Dear Santa" letters since 1962. A writer who
    (...)  writing "elves". They say that many children are confiding in Santa and expressing heartfelt fears that perhaps parents are
    (...)  and grandmas....Children are putting into words everything they have felt during this period."
    (...)  in the dark about. One child wrote: "This year, more than the others, I need magic and to believe in you." Another child slipped a
    (...)  gifts, but many have emotional outpourings that provide an insight into how the coronavirus pandemic is troubling young
    (...)  The post office has been inundated with around 12,000 letters per day. It has a team of 60 letter-
    1  ) An unlikely source has revealed the pandemic fears of thousands of children across the world - Santa's
    (...)  toll on children. She said: "The letters to Santa are a sort of release for them. All this

    Put the words in the right order

    1. has   pandemic   the   fears   .   An   revealed   unlikely   source
    2. COVID-19 .  concerns  expressing  been  about  Described  children  have
    3. An   how   insight   young   minds   .   troubles   into   coronavirus
    4. the   notes   .   writer   A   children's   who   replies   to
    5. emerges   what   from   letters   .   really   their   It's
    6. in   say   are   many   Santa   .   They   children   confiding
    7. in   the   parents   are   dark   Fears   about   .   that
    8. magic   to   in   believe   you   .   and   need   I
    9. a   Letters   to   release   .   sort   Santa   are   of
    10. this   All   they   have   in   year   lockdowns   .   been

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    An unlikely source has revelled / revealed the pandemic fears of thousands of children across the world - Santa's mailbag. A post office in France that answers mailing / mail it receives for Santa has described the concerning / concerns children have been expressing about COVID-19. The letters contain the usual / usually requests for Christmas gifts, but many have / do emotional outpourings that provide an out of sight / insight into how the coronavirus pandemic is troubled / troubling young minds. The post office has been response / responding to "Dear Santa" letters since 1962. A writer who pens / replies to the notes said: "This year, we really feel their fears - for themselves, their grandparents or their parents. It's what really emerges  / emergence from their letters. And in every country."

    The post office has been infatuated / inundated with around 12,000 letters per day. It has a team of 60 letter-writing "elves". They say that many children are confidence / confiding in Santa and expressing heartfelt fears that perhaps parents are in the dusk / dark about. One child wrote: "This year, more than the others, I need magician / magic and to believe in you." Another child slipped a mask inside her envelope / enveloping for Santa to not spread the virus. A "chief elf" explained the emotional tale / toll on children. She said: "The letters to Santa are a part / sort of release for them. All this annual / year they have been in lockdowns and have been deprived / depraved of school and their grandpas and grandmas....Children are putting into words / characters everything they have felt during this period."

    Talk about the connection between each pair of words in italics, and why the correct word is correct.

    Insert the vowels (a, e, i, o, u)

    _n  _nl_k_ly  s__rc_  h_s  r_v__l_d  th_  p_nd_m_c  f__rs  _f  th__s_nds  _f  ch_ldr_n  _cr_ss  th_  w_rld  -  S_nt_'s  m__lb_g.  _  p_st  _ff_c_  _n  Fr_nc_  th_t  _nsw_rs  m__l  _t  r_c__v_s  f_r  S_nt_  h_s  d_scr_b_d  th_  c_nc_rns  ch_ldr_n  h_v_  b__n  _xpr_ss_ng  _b__t  C_V_D-19.  Th_  l_tt_rs  c_nt__n  th_  _s__l  r_q__sts  f_r  Chr_stm_s  g_fts,  b_t  m_ny  h_v_  _m_t__n_l  __tp__r_ngs  th_t  pr_v_d_  _n  _ns_ght  _nt_  h_w  th_  c_r_n_v_r_s  p_nd_m_c  _s  tr__bl_ng  y__ng  m_nds.  Th_  p_st  _ff_c_  h_s  b__n  r_sp_nd_ng  t_  "D__r  S_nt_"  l_tt_rs  s_nc_  1962.  _  wr_t_r  wh_  r_pl__s  t_  th_  n_t_s  s__d:  "Th_s  y__r,  w_  r__lly  f__l  th__r  f__rs  -  f_r  th_ms_lv_s,  th__r  gr_ndp_r_nts  _r  th__r  p_r_nts.  _t's  wh_t  r__lly  _m_rg_s  fr_m  th__r  l_tt_rs.  _nd  _n  _v_ry  c__ntry."

    Th_  p_st  _ff_c_  h_s  b__n  _n_nd_t_d  w_th  _r__nd  12,000  l_tt_rs  p_r  d_y.  _t  h_s  _  t__m  _f  60  l_tt_r-wr_t_ng  "_lv_s".  Th_y  s_y  th_t  m_ny  ch_ldr_n  _r_  c_nf_d_ng  _n  S_nt_  _nd  _xpr_ss_ng  h__rtf_lt  f__rs  th_t  p_rh_ps  p_r_nts  _r_  _n  th_  d_rk  _b__t.  _n_  ch_ld  wr_t_:  "Th_s  y__r,  m_r_  th_n  th_  _th_rs,  _  n__d  m_g_c  _nd  t_  b_l__v_  _n  y__."  _n_th_r  ch_ld  sl_pp_d  _  m_sk  _ns_d_  h_r  _nv_l_p_  f_r  S_nt_  t_  n_t  spr__d  th_  v_r_s.  _  "ch__f  _lf"  _xpl__n_d  th_  _m_t__n_l  t_ll  _n  ch_ldr_n.  Sh_  s__d:  "Th_  l_tt_rs  t_  S_nt_  _r_  _  s_rt  _f  r_l__s_  f_r  th_m.  _ll  th_s  y__r  th_y  h_v_  b__n  _n  l_ckd_wns  _nd  h_v_  b__n  d_pr_v_d  _f  sch__l  _nd  th__r  gr_ndp_s  _nd  gr_ndm_s....Ch_ldr_n  _r_  p_tt_ng  _nt_  w_rds  _v_ryth_ng  th_y  h_v_  f_lt  d_r_ng  th_s  p_r__d."

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    an unlikely source has revealed the pandemic fears of thousands of children across the world  santas mailbag a post office in france that answers mail it receives for santa has described the concerns children have been expressing about covid19 the letters contain the usual requests for christmas gifts but many have emotional outpourings that provide an insight into how the coronavirus pandemic is troubling young minds the post office has been responding to dear santa letters since 1962 a writer who replies to the notes said this year we really feel their fears  for themselves their grandparents or their parents its what really emerges from their letters and in every country

    the post office has been inundated with around 12000 letters per day it has a team of 60 letter writing elves they say that many children are confiding in santa and expressing heartfelt fears that perhaps parents are in the dark about one child wrote this year more than the others i need magic and to believe in you another child slipped a mask inside her envelope for santa to not spread the virus a chief elf explained the emotional toll on children she said the letters to santa are a sort of release for them all this year they have been in lockdowns and have been deprived of school and their grandpas and grandmas children are putting into words everything they have felt during this period

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    Anunlikelysourcehasrevealedthepandemicfearsofthousandsofchildr
    enacrosstheworld-Santa'smailbag.ApostofficeinFrancethatanswer
    smailitreceivesforSantahasdescribedtheconcernschildrenhavebeen
    expressingaboutCOVID-19.TheletterscontaintheusualrequestsforC
    hristmasgifts,butmanyhaveemotionaloutpouringsthatprovideaninsi
    ghtintohowthecoronaviruspandemicistroublingyoungminds.Thepos
    tofficehasbeenrespondingto"DearSanta"letterssince1962.Awriterw
    horepliestothenotessaid:"Thisyear,wereallyfeeltheirfears-forthems
    elves,theirgrandparentsortheirparents.It'swhatreallyemergesfromt
    heirletters.Andineverycountry."Thepostofficehasbeeninundatedwit
    haround12,000lettersperday.Ithasateamof60letter-writing"elves"
    .TheysaythatmanychildrenareconfidinginSantaandexpressingheart
    feltfearsthatperhapsparentsareinthedarkabout.Onechildwrote:"Thi
    syear,morethantheothers,Ineedmagicandtobelieveinyou."Another
    childslippedamaskinsideherenvelopeforSantatonotspreadthevirus.
    A"chiefelf"explainedtheemotionaltollonchildren.Shesaid:"Theletter
    stoSantaareasortofreleaseforthem.Allthisyeartheyhavebeeninlockd
    ownsandhavebeendeprivedofschoolandtheirgrandpasandgrandma
    s....Childrenareputtingintowordseverythingtheyhavefeltduringthis
    period."

    Free writing

    Write about letters to Santa for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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    Academic writing

    What three things can we do to help children with COVID-19 fears?

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    Homework

    1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google's search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.
    2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about this news story. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.
    3. SANTA: Make a poster about Santa. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. CHILDREN: Write a magazine article about governments spending more money on counselling services for children worried about COVID-19. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against this.
    Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).
    5. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Write a newspaper article about the next stage in this news story. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.
    6. LETTER: Write a letter to an expert on Santa. Ask him/her three questions about him. Give him/her three of your ideas on how to stop children worrying about COVID-19. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

    Answers

    (Please look at page 26 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

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